Former Tri-City Americans goalie Carey Price was named the No. 3 all-time Western Hockey League player Wednesday at the WHL awards banquet in Calgary.
Bob Clarke of the Flin Flon Bombers was ranked No. 2, while Joe Sakic of the Swift Current Broncos was named the top player to come out of the WHL.
As part of the WHLs 50th season, a panel of historians selected the top 125 players in WHL history based on a combination of the impact they had while playing in the WHL and their careers upon graduating from the league.
From this list, WHL fans voted to select the top 50 WHL players of all-time.
Former Tri-City forward and now co-owner Stu Barnes was ranked No. 50.
With Price and his wife Angela expecting their first child any day, Price’s dad Jerry accepted the award on his behalf.
“It creates part of that legacy and culture we are so proud of,” Americans general manager Bob Tory said of Price’s award. “That history and tradition are so important. He was a special player. I couldn’t be more proud of Carey the person and player and how much he gives back, not only in our community, but others as well. It’s a special day and we are proud of him.”
Price — now one of the top goalies in the NHL and the league MVP in 2015 — was a first-round bantam pick of the Americans in 2002 (7th overall) and played four seasons for the Americans (2003-07).
In his second season, he played 63 games, posting a 2.34 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. He also had eight shutouts that season, which still stands as a club record.
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In his last season with the Americans, he had 30 of the team’s 47 wins and was named the CHL and WHL goalie of the year. Tri-City finished with 96 points that season — its best season since relocating to the Tri-Cities in 1988.
After Tri-City was eliminated from the 2007 playoffs, Price joined the Hamilton Bulldogs for their AHL playoff run. Price led the Bulldogs to a Calder Cup championship and earned the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the most valuable player in the AHL playoffs.
Price also had success on the international stage that season as he backstopped Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The Anahim Lake, British Columbia, native finished his WHL career with 83 wins, a 2.53 goals against average and a 0.914 save percentage in 193 regular season appearances. Price also owns the Americans’ record for career shutouts with 15.
Price, 28, has played his entire nine-year NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens.
In 2014-15, Price had a season to remember as he racked up numerous individual awards. Price won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player in the NHL as well as the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL’s most valuable player as selected by the National Hockey League Players’ Association. In addition, he received the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie and the William M. Jennings Trophy.
Price also became the second former WHL player to earn the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s top athlete in 2015.
Price had the opportunity to represent his country once again in 2014 and won an Olympic Gold medal between the pipes for Team Canada.